Former Trojans Step Up For US Open Main Draw Action|
Aug 26, 2013
The US Open kicks off today in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. with a set of three former Trojans lineup for competition in main draws. Steve Johnson and Maria Sanchez will each play in both the singles and doubles draws, and Robert Farah will compete in men's doubles.
Steve Johnson, who won two NCAA Singles Championships and four NCAA Team Championships as a Trojan, will be making his third appearance in the US Open men's singles main draw. This year, Johnson will have competed in all four Grand Slams, with first-round singles main draw appearances at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon as he sets up for this week's US Open. In doubles, Johnson is also playing in the US Open for the third time, following up an appearance at Wimbledon earlier this year. At the 2013 US Open, Johnson will pair with fellow countryman Michael Russell in doubles. Johnson is currently ranked No. 116 in the world in singles and No. 130 in doubles. Johnson opens up singles competition this year against Germany's Tobias Kamke.
Maria Sanchez, the 2011 Pac-12 Player of the Year as a senior at Troy, is making her first singles main draw appearance in a Grand Slam. Sanchez played doubles in last year's US Open, and this year she'll be even busier as she lines up first for singles play before teaming up with Shelby Rogers in doubles. Sanchez, who is ranked No. 111 in the world in singles and No. 116 in doubles, will make her US Open singles debut against Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.
Robert Farah, who won two NCAA Team Championships and the 2008 NCAA Doubles Championship as a Trojan, has played doubles in all Grand Slams. This will be his third US Open doubles appearance as he looks to better a second-round effort in 2011. Farah's best Grand Slam run to date was a quarterfinal appearance in the 2013 Australian Open. He'll team back up with fellow Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal this week. Farah ranks No. 57 in the world in doubles.
USC's 2013 NCAA Doubles Championship winners Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria did not receive a wildcard into the US Open doubles main draw. The pair was expected to be included in the draw, and are in New York to be honored as members of the ITA Collegiate All-Star Team. Typically, NCAA champions receive a wild card invitation to the US Open main draw, but Christian and Santamaria have not been included in this year's doubles draw. Last season, the USC junior-sophomore combination paired up for their second season together as Trojan teammates. Christian and Santamaria, who are also childhood friends, went on to defend two titles -- the Pac-12 Doubles and ITA National Indoor Doubles championships -- while adding two more to their resumes in completing a triple crown of national titles with the ITA/Riviera All-American Doubles crown and finally the NCAA Doubles championship. Christian/Santamaria finished out the season with a near-perfect 37-1 overall record. This summer, the pair made an impressive run at the World University Games, reaching the quarterfinals where they fell to eventual gold medalist Russians Pavlyuchenkova/Vesnina, who are both competing in the US Open separately as seeded teams. It seems that the correct paperwork was not filed with the USTA, and the absence of the paperwork for the women's NCAA champions was not noticed during the selection process. The NCAA men's champions from UVA will be competing in the men's doubles main draw.
Christian and Santamaria have instead been included in the Mixed Doubles competition at the US Open. Christian will play with UCLA's Dennis Novikov, and Santamaria will team up with Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins.
To follow the Trojans at the US Open, go to usopen.org